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Harlem: I Too Once Dreamed Essay

1092 words - 5 pages

Struggle, despair, overcoming and inspiration are words that could describe the poem “Harlem”, by Langston Hughes. Hughes, a key figure of the Harlem Renaissance movement of the 1920s has given raise to the many plays and inspired countless drum majors for justice along the way. Hughes ask one driving question in the beginning of “Harlem”, “What happens to a dream deferred?” Answers to this question have been written and rewritten by actions and movements for decades. Moreover, like a scientific hypothesis or theory that is constantly changing and evolving.
Written in 1951 the 49th year of Hughes' life, full of the events of his time that easily transports you to the struggles between the lines. The separate and unequal status of African Americans of this time, Jazz, Bebop, the 1935 and 1943 riots in Harlem were surely inspirational in the formalization of the “Harlem” piece (Greenberg). In present day America old and new issues fill the headlines still today. From debates over Obama Care to Stop and Frisk law of New York City the underlying issue of race and social economic differences set Americans against each other. The controversies of “Stop and Frisk” range from constitutional infringement to out right racism. According to data statistics collected by the New York City Liberties Union,
“In 2012, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 532,911 times 473,644 were totally innocent (89 percent). 284,229 were black (55 percent). 165,140 were Latino (32 percent). 50,366 were white (10 percent)” (New).
The overwhelming majority of these people being stop were law abiding people of color. When I think of this issue I quickly relate it to living in a police state. The out cry for social equality is not loud enough. Move these fourth amendment violation outside of the NY stock exchange encompassing all Wall Street. Mayor Micheal Bloomberg wouldn't be so quick to add his support of police department violations then. The weight upon the shoulders of many New Yorkers “just sags like a heavy load.” Will it “explode” into another riot in the streets of Harlem?
As a boy I had all the hopes and dreams of most youngsters of my generation. I wanted to play second base for the Atlanta Braves, football for the Dallas Cowboys, be a fireman and a police officer. Everything seems possible in the mind of a child. In elementary school, it was explained that a possibility existed for me to also become President of the United States. At the time President Richard Nixon was on his way out of the White House. I ran home that day, with all the hopes and dreams of any 6 year old, I told my mom about me becoming president and with all the inspiration she could muster she told me “our” truth. Although the possibility existed it had never happened, she explained maybe someday when your older America will be ready for a black president. My mother would often read Bible scriptures to my sister and me as reinforcement of some point she was...

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